Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized

Why Legalize?

...continued from our media fact sheet - with more room for links and references

Q: Why do you think marijuana should be legalized?

A: Here at Fully Baked Ideas, we’ve done our research and have formed our opinions based on published facts.

As a member of the media, or just an interested reader, thank you for taking the time to consider our argument. We encourage everyone to seek out reputable sources of information and enter this national debate based on hard evidence and facts and not on rumors and myths.

Marijuana use and health

The debate in the medical community over marijuana use and health is similar to that concerning drinking alcohol. Some medical studies cite benefits; others cite faults. We believe that more research should be conducted. However, we feel that any substance you ingest should come with common sense and moderation.

As of Aug. 2009, 13 states allow (and 14 more are considering) the use of marijuana to treat medical conditions that include: Crohn’s Disease, Anorexia, AIDS, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, and Glaucoma.

An increasing number of medical organizations have endorsed medical marijuana including The American College of Physicians, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Public Health Association, and the Lymphoma Foundation of America.

While you investigate available medical studies, we invite you to examine two to get started:

* Dr. Donald Tashkin of the University of California, Los Angeles discusses his research showing that marijuana use does not cause lung cancer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJmQ16cGBHU

* "Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base" explains not only what science has to say about medical marijuana but also the logic behind the scientific conclusions. It summarizes and analyzes what is known about the medical use of marijuana and emphasizes evidence-based medicine (derived from knowledge and experience informed by rigorous scientific analysis). The book can be found free online:

Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base
Authors: Janet E. Joy, Stanley J. Watson, Jr., and John A. Benson, Jr.,
Editors: Institute of Medicine

Marijuana use and social and economic factors

We admit that legalizing marijuana will not suddenly pull the United States out its current recession or miraculously reform the criminal justice system. We do believe if legalized and taxed (the same as cigarettes and alcohol), local and federal governments could reduce their law enforcement expenses, overcrowding in jails, and collect billions in tax revenues. And we agree with a 2005 report from Dr. Jeffrey Miron, “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition,” that says,

“Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of legal regulation would save approximately $7.7 billion in government expenditures on prohibition enforcement -- $2.4 billion at the federal level and $5.3 billion at the state and local levels.

Revenue from taxation of marijuana sales would range from $2.4 billion per year if marijuana were taxed like ordinary consumer goods to $6.2 billion if it were taxed like alcohol or tobacco.”

We’re not alone either. Over 500 economists agree with the report findings and have signed on to a letter sent to the President during the last administration. We encourage you to read more: http://www.prohibitioncosts.org/index.html

Marijuana use and drug abuse

Addiction is an illness whether it is to prescription drugs, gambling, over eating, sex, or alcohol. These can be serious problems and they can ruin lives. However, research shows that marijuana is not a gateway drug -- a drug that leads to heavier drug use. Research from the Rand Corporation finds:

“"The people who are predisposed to use drugs and have the opportunity to use drugs are more likely than others to use both marijuana and harder drugs. Marijuana typically comes first because it is more available. Once we incorporated these facts into our mathematical model of adolescent drug use, we could explain all of the drug use associations that have been cited as evidence of marijuana's gateway effect."

We encourage you to learn more http://www.rand.org/news/press.02/gateway.html

We could go on and often do when asked, but this debate is larger (thankfully) than one company’s opinion. These facts serve to explain why we have created a game – and it is really just a fun card game with a provocative theme – that taps into a social norm. After all, close to 15 million Americans smoke marijuana.